10.05.3013: Seeking Allies
Summary: Cyrielle invites Anabethe out drinking.
Date: September 17th, 2013
Related: Joint Treehouse Custody, Catwalk Reunions
Anabethe Cyrielle 

The Warehouse — Volkan, The Crescent
The two and a half-story interior of this factory is open from slab floor to metal-sheathed roof cathedral ceiling. A stage stands opposite the entrance, ready to host either live music or a DJ, and the space between door and stage is empty of any impediment to creating a writhing sea of humanity from the stage to halfway down the length of the warehouse. At that point, chest-high tables with stools around them begin, gathered in little clusters. On busy nights, a knot of people collect in front of the bar along one side of the giant room.
The music is loud, aggressive, and distinctly Khourni, matching the aesthetic. Machinery has been mounted on the walls, some parts still working, pulsing to the beat of the music. Light flash and play across the machinery and ceiling, occasionally spotlighting or silhouetting the catwalks that still encircle the open area three meters off the ground. Those catwalks are reserved for people of importance or particularly comely men or women that the bouncers at the stairs believe might attract appropriate gazes with their dancing.
October 5th, 3013

The Warehouse is always loud, but Anabethe is a familiar enough patron that she has her own spot in the VIP area of the catwalks above the club, set behind the speakers where you can actually hear yourself think. Sometimes. If you're a loud thinker. At the suggestion of a drink, she led the way here, exchanging a few words with the bouncer and signaling an order to the bar before making her way up to the circle of chairs and a lounge she calls her own.

At last Cyrielle is vaguely familiar with the spot from her first meeting with the Khournas heir. She's dressed in an outfit of a leather bodice dyed grey and a light skirt of dark blue. Hollolas colors, but a more marginally martial outfit. Her trek up the stairs is a bit slow-going, but her limp isn't affecting her too greatly. Or she's good at hiding it today. Once they're in an area where her voice can be heard better, she speaks up: "Now, please forgive me if I'm wrong, but you don't seem the sort to wish me to use proper titles and address during outings like this."

"Gods, please don't," Anabethe grins, dropping into a chair and crossing one ankle over her knee. "Honestly, I don't really care for that sort of thing unless whatever's going on is…image intensive. And even then, I don't exactly like it, but I'll do it because I have to. Bethe is fine," she assures. "And I hope you'll forgive me if I'm not particularly formal in general. It just seems like a lot of wasted effort to me. What's your poison?" she asks, taking a data pad from an employee to place orders.

"I honestly prefer you not be formal," Cyrielle says, looking relieved as she takes a seat. She doesn't quite drop into it, needing to be more mindful of how she moves her leg. "We Hollolas don't quite like pomp in the least. Give us a good whiskey, a great meal, and a ship to ride into the storms." Though Cyrielle would oft do without the ship. "And speaking of whiskey- I'd like that. Something famous in The Crescent." She smooths her skirt, settling back into the chair she's claimed.

"Whiskey it is," Anabethe nods firmly, tapping in a few commands and setting the pad aside for the next round. "There's not a lot of homebrew Khournas drinks," she adds with a flicker of a smile. "We're not much for growing things. But there are a few small companies targeting the market. So what's brought you into the Crescent?" she asks bluntly, considering the other woman with a curious eye.

"I figured there would be one or two. No region goes without someone trying to make a specialized liquor. In Beacon, many ships even have their own special distillation." Cyrielle glances up to Anabethe at the blunt question, a slight smirk bringing up the corners of her lips in bemusement. "Your brother has been raving to me of the beauty that can be found within Volkan. I decided I ought to take him up on the offer."

"You know, we can't help but try to sell it to the Arboren," Anabethe smirks, apparently amused. "Every time we get someone to come and visit, we've got to try and tell them no, it's really not that bad here. And usually they end up looking at us like we've lost our minds. I took Aidan down to where the thermo pipes start. I think he was kind of horrified. It might be safe to say it's something of an acquired taste."

"I… had to have the windows in my guest rooms darkened. The glow at night is rather unsettling." Cyrielle draws in a slow breath and her brow furrows. "It makes me somewhat uncomfortable at times. I am from a place where nature flourishes… But I also understand that there are different ways to living. Different things one must do. Most have no concept of what it takes to hunt and gather one's own food and even some from my home, despite a love of nature, would be horrified by what one must do." She offers a brief smile, tilting her head back into the chair. "I appreciate beauty in many facets, because of my passion for photography. Perhaps it is for that reason I am able to appreciate Volkan. Or perhaps your brother just knows how to show it to someone."

"It's not as though we're the Ring," Anabethe points out, laughing low. "I mean, we're still the earth. This is nature too. Just…a different part of it. A less friendly part than most of Arboren. But we work with it. We're not generally stupid enough to think we've beaten the planet here. We know we've got an uneasy truce at best." At the mention of her brother, she tilts her head, eyes narrowing slightly. "Nitrim has many gifts. Charm being one of the best, I'd say."

"I've had an invitation to spend time on the Ring as well. I'm uncertain of accepting that one." Cyrielle gives a light shrug. "Many of the stories told to us in Arboren are that in the Crescent, they have specifically fought, mined, and destroyed the land to gain what is desired beneath." She brushes a hand over her skirt. "I can say now, that while the culture is vastly different, I no longer believe that." That same hand lifts, as if forestalling the narrowed look. "Please, don't think ill of me. I care greatly for your brother and I want only the best for him. He has told me much of his ex-betrothed and he told me that she had tried to hurt his relationship and ties with his family. Whatever else may be said or come, please know I have no desires of that. Family is important and he cares greatly for his. It is why I was willing to visit- I wanted to meet the people that meant so much to him, in the place he loves."

Anabethe barks a laugh. "Go and visit the Mount sometime," she suggests. "Then you tell me who's fighting who. Believe me, this place can do a hell of a lot more damage to us than we can do to it. We wrestle with each other, but I wouldn't say either of us has gotten the best of the other." She pauses as drinks arrive, glasses of whiskey delivered by waiters, only to continue once they both have drinks. "Sorry. I'm a little protective of my brother. Thing is, Nitrim's…one of those broken things that women tend to want to fix. But the truth is, he needs to fix himself. He doesn't need a woman to save him, any more than women need knights in shining armor to rescue them from towers."

There's a murmur of appreciation to the server once Cyrielle has her whiskey. She takes a sip and gestures towards Anabethe somewhat. "I would be happy were I able to help him, but I see nothing to fix. He is who he is. If anything, Bethe… He's fixed me. I've seen…" She shakes her head and leans back, drinking more deeply. "I'm sorry. You don't want to hear me verge on waxing poetic. I don't even know how. I just… well, I suppose I'm hoping for an ally. I've avoided dealing with other noble families for so long. I'd be more inclined to…" She gestures, "well, do much like this. And I doubt the rest are as, well, as Nitrim puts it… awesome as you."

"Awesome, huh?" Anabethe's smile quirks, wry, before she shakes her head and takes a sip of her drink. "Family's important," she says after. "It's…the one thing you should always be able to count on, no matter what. As far as the rest of the world goes?" She shrugs, smile crooked. "They'll come or they'll go. Ally's an interesting choice of words, though," she muses, taking another sip. "What is it you're looking for allies in?"

"You have that right. I know I can always rely on my family and I feel Nitrim should be able to as well. He needs it." Cyrielle's lips shift slightly. She's a bit nervous now, but she's in this far already. "I… well, once everything has died down, I wish to perhaps seek… arrangements. He and I see things on the same level. That politics matter little. That family is important. That we have duties to our people." She's watching Anabethe intently now. Seeking disapproval. Backlash. Or perhaps understanding. "I don't want anyone to think I'm forcing him, but I also don't want the tabloids to have something else to go wild over. So I'm speaking to you. As his family. As someone whose opinion he values greatly. He and I have already discussed it, so please… don't think I'm doing this behind his back." Then, as she waits, she downs the rest of her whiskey.

Anabethe is quiet for a long moment, letting out a slow breath. "Well. That's, ah." She pauses again, trying to choose her words. Instead, she drinks. "Kind of soon to be talking about that sort of thing," she finally says. "Last one's just barely been canceled out, and I'd say she's hardly cold in the ground, except she was pretty cold to begin with. Honestly, though, all I want for my brother is for him to be happy. And," she admits, "On the practical side, I know Dad's looking to make an Arboren match somewhere."

"I know it is. Which is why I haven't spoken in any official capacity yet." Cyrielle's shoulders move in a small shrug. "But I thought I would let you know now. That way, should there be any attempts to… perhaps get him wed off to handle any future rumors or fears of scandal, perhaps you could be on my side?" She knows well those things happen sometimes. "Is he?" An eyebrow raises slightly. "Well, perhaps that will help once I do see about moving forward."

"Yup. Was talking about how he was hoping I might make a match with Arboren, Peake, of Hollolas," Anabethe says with a wry smile, shrugging one shoulder. "Honestly, I don't think he's expecting to make much of a match with Nitrim right now, given recent events. So I'd say now's the time to buy low, if you can convince your folks. Which sounds pretty awful, when I'm speaking of my brother," she snorts, scrubbing a hand over her face. "I'd just…caution both of you to be careful. Take your time. Sometimes it feels like everyone just…tumbles into love."

"It's… well, perhaps it sounds awful, but it's understandable in context." Cyrielle gives a small shrug, looking to the empty glass. "I think, more than something of love, it's… wanting to know that we'd have someone we're compatible with. Everyone dreams of a love match, I'm sure, but I'd be happy with a match in which I know I will enjoy my life, rather than a purely political marriage." She lifts her chin to regard Anabethe. "So, I suppose then, I'll see what my brother thinks of him. I'm hoping Ephraim can… run him through the ropes as it were. Perhaps a precursor to meeting my father."

"Siblings are good for that sort of thing," Anabethe agrees, amused. "And Nitrim…Well. People love him or they hate him. Mostly depending on how obnoxious he's choosing to be at any given moment. I'd imagine if this is important to him, though, that he'll actually try to make a good impression, rather than screwing around."

"He's even said he'll let Ephraim take him out on a boat so he doesn't embarass himself should my father wish to test him." Cyrielle appears rather bemused by this. "I would hope not, as even I won't step out onto a ship anymore." She lifts her glass when a waiter passes, handing it off to get a refill. "I want you to know that… should this work out, I want Nitrim's family to be mine as well. I don't want to try any divides, or to keep him away. I want to… be able to become a part."

"No, I wouldn't think you would," Anabethe says quietly, watching the other woman. "You don't seem the sort. All I can ask is that you care for him as he is and as he wants to be. For himself. Not for…some vision of him that fits your life, or something that you can make him, or he can make you. I'm sorry," she pauses, brows furrowing in a frown. "I'm not very good with words. I mean. What I'm trying to say, is don't think he's going to complete you, or fix you. And don't think you're going to somehow fix him, or complete him. Be willing to be with each other, as each other, as you are now."

Eyebrows rise slightly at the words and Cyrielle tilts her head slightly. "I… wouldn't want anything else. He's been good for me, I think. We have things in common that brought us together and keep our interest." Like the love of photography. "If he were to change, he would no longer be… well, be the Nitrim I have come to enjoy having in my life. I can promise you, I don't seek to change him or force him into anything he doesn't want."

"Good," Anabethe nods. "Good." Finishing her drink, she reaches for the pad to put in an order for another round. "Sorry," she adds as she looks up with a sheepish smile. "He's my baby brother, and he's gone through hell these last few months. If it weren't for the war, I'd say it'd just be better if he didn't worry about matches or the like for the next few years, until he had time to settle into his own skin. But I don't think we'll all have many of those options."

"We won't," Cyrielle says, with a bit of sadness. "Perhaps that's what leads one to tumble into love, as you say. We're all a bit scared of what we may lose and we want to take advantage of as much as possible." She looks towards the floor below, with all the dancers. "I don't want to fix him. I just want to be there for him. If he needs me."

"He needs someone. Maybe he needs more than one someone," Anabethe muses with another flicker of a smile. "But if the two of you want to give things a try, then I'm not going to get in the way. And I'll do what I can to make things easier." She reaches up to rub a hand at her brow, a faint smile lingering on her features. "Someone ought to be happy, at least."

"Well, from what I gather, you are certainly a someone. But you can't always be that someone. Not being the heir." Cyrielle tilts her head slightly, pondering Anabethe. "I would hope you can find happiness as well. And your sister is to be wed soon, is she not? Hopefully she will find happiness there." Happiness isn't something the Hollolas quite understands, but she certainly tries to. "I do want to surprise Nitrim by… adapting a bit more to the local culture. Do you have any suggestions on who I might talk to regarding fashion?"

"Anyone but me," Anabethe laughs, grin flashing in the gloom of the catwalk. "Honestly, I wear what works for whatever I'm doing, and that's about it. Otherwise I wait for someone to tell me what to wear. Like Reena. By which I mean, you should definitely ask Reena about fashion instead of me," she chuckles. "She'd probably be thrilled to have someone to willingly go shopping with her."

"I dabble in putting together outfits, but it's usually to go to a club. Otherwise, well…" Shoulders rise and fall in a small shrug. "It's skirts when I risk people staring at my leg and my ranging gear when I don't." Cyrielle's lips twitch slightly in amusement. "I'll invite Reena shopping, then. She can help me find enough clothes to last a while, so I needn't do so again anytime soon."

"She'll be thrilled," Anabethe assures, amused. "I think she's always been a little disappointed that I'm not as interested in shopping with her as she is in shopping herself. If you can convince her that you're interested in taking some advice on clothes and going shopping with her, I'm sure you should be able to win her over. Besides, with the wedding coming up, she could use the distraction, at least for a little bit."

"Ah, right, the wedding." Cyrielle's brow furrows somewhat. "Are you certain it wouldn't be an unwelcome distraction? I've been told weddings are rather busy affairs." None of her siblings are wed. There's been no worries of such things in the Hollolas household. "I'll send the request, nonetheless. I'd hate to cause any unwanted disruptions to the preparations."

"I'm pretty sure Reena has things well under control," Anabethe shrugs as the second round arrives. "She usually does. But it won't hurt to ask. And if I see her first, then I'll give her a heads up, suggest she take a little time off." She takes her glass, drinking again. "But really, we're not big fashion people here. Not going to get a lot of funny looks for how you dress or anything."

"I'm sure there's something though. I certainly see a lot of darker colors and sharper lines than back home." Cyrielle moves her shoulders in a small shrug. "If she's as knowledgeable as you say, I'm sure she'll have something to suggest. It will be interesting, at least." With her own, freshly filled glass in hand, Cyrielle takes a long drink. "Thank you, Bethe. I appreciate you being so candid and understanding."

"Kind of who I am," Anabethe grins, raising her glass in salute. "But for what it's worth, I appreciate you coming to me," she adds more genuinely. "Shows something important." She tosses back the last of her drink, then stands. "Let's go see what's going on on the floor," she suggests.

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